Our Christmas

Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday of the year and it’s made even better by spending it with my large, loud, and energetic family. This year both of my sisters and their families made it back to Iowa so we crammed into Mom & Dad’s house–all 22 of us–and there wasn’t a quiet space to be found. (Except maybe during the little kids’ nap times when the big kids went to the basement and the adults lounged in the living room watching football and dozing.)

The weekend was packed with family time–and unending amounts of food–and I was so sad to see it all come to an end.

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I do not know why this doll doesn’t have any clothes.
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We had our gift exchange on Christmas Eve and, as always, was kicked off with Dad reading Luke 2. Then we start from youngest to oldest with gift opening. The biggest (literally) hit of the gift exchange was Ashton’s gift from Uncle Jordan (that enormous box you can see below). Ashton loves taking things apart so Jordan got him his own tool set and some old junker electronics, but wrapped them in a dryer box.

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Old family movies on super 8 film spools came out sometime in the evening and we laughed and laughed at the silent antics flickering on the wall.
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We spent Christmas morning at our house before going to church. Henry took forever to open his gifts, but mostly because he’d get sidetracked with each one. We had to pry him away from his new cozy coupe firetruck to open another gift (his tracker & wagon), then pry him away from that to open his next gift. And on and on. If we wouldn’t have encouraged him to keep moving along, he’d probably still be opening gifts today.
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After nap time on Christmas, we headed back to Kalona for more festivities, including the grandchildren’s Christmas pageant. The older grandkids were great sports, but not super interested in participating. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the youngest grandkids (uh-hum, Henry & Winston), were not really sure what they were doing, but were cute none the less.
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My favorite shepherd.
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And by now it’s 2017, things have quieted back down, the weather has turned absolutely frigid as it does this time of year, and I’m thankful for photos to help me remember the magic of Christmas.

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